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June 9, 2015

Guyana Chronicle 

… Late replacements for Golden Jaguars

WITH the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) still battling Government for the approval of citizenship of English quartet Neil Danns, Matthew Briggs, Marcel Barrington and Sam Cox, head coach Jamaal Shabazz called up replacements Chris Camacho, Pernell Schultz and Kevin Beaton ahead of today’s 2018 World Cup Qualifier against St Vincent and Grenadines. Kris-Camacho

The Golden Jaguars will face the ‘Vincy Heat’ at the Arnos Vale Stadium from 15:30hrs but will have to do so without the services of four key components of their squad.

The approval of citizenship for the players is now in the hands of newly appointed Attorney General Basil Williams.

Following consultation with Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix, it was recommended that the matter be looked at by the Attorney General who would further advise on the processing of the documents.

The aforementioned players qualify to represent Guyana through their grandparents; something that’s not unique in sport and is not in isolation actuality as in the case of the Golden Jaguars.

In fact, a number of Guyana’s female women football team members, popularly known as the ‘Lady Jags’, have all qualified to represent Guyana at the world stage through their grandparents and had done so with outstanding success, following their participation at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup in Cancun Mexico.

According to Laws of Guyana Citizenship Act, Chapter 14:01, Section 4 (1) “A Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, being of full age and capacity, may, on making application, therefore under this subsection to the Minister in prescribed manner, be registered at the discretion of the Minister as a citizen of Guyana if he satisfies the Minister that he: (C) has had partly such residence and partly such service, throughout the period of five years ending with the date of his application, or such shorter period so ending as the Minister may in the special circumstances of any particular case accept”.

Section 9 of the Act also states that “the Minister may at his discretion, if application therefore is made to him in the prescribed manner be any alien or British protected person of full age and capacity who satisfies him that he is qualified under the Second Schedule for Naturalisation grant him a Certificate of Naturalisation, and the person to whom the certificate is granted shall, on taking the oath of allegiance, become a citizen of Guyana by naturalisation with effect from the date on which that certificate is granted”.

The World Governing body of the sport – FIFA – allows a player to represent any national team, as long as the player has citizenship of that country,

FIFA implemented a significant new ruling that requires a player to demonstrate a “clear connection” to any country they wish to represent. FIFA has used its authority to overturn results of competitive international matches that feature ineligible players.

Meanwhile, Shabazz pointed out that “given the family ties and what FIFA allows and the Guyana Constitution, I think it’s an opportunity to reconnect Guyanese in the Diaspora with home. Don’t be fooled these lads are all Guyanese and there is precedence”.

The Golden Jaguars head coach believes that “this is indeed a test from Allah because we want our best possible team. Guyana is for Guyanese home and abroad, but we will go forward whether lightly armed or heavily equipped, putting our trust in Allah”